Fiji Multi-Country Office
There is a growing recognition and understanding within the Pacific that empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. To this end, some progress towards gender equality has been made at regional, national and community levels.
For example, some Pacific Island countries and territories have passed domestic violence legislation, have supported the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health rights at international meetings and have included gender equality in development forum discussions.
The region still has a long way to go. The Pacific has some of the world’s highest rates of gender-based and sexual violence, as well as the lowest numbers of women in parliament.
Women in the region often face cultural, economic and systemic barriers to participating fully in their communities. These can include little or no access to decent work, leadership opportunities, legal representation, basic education and healthcare, as well as the direct physical and emotional effects of violence.
However, women also offer unique skills and knowledge that could play a huge part in ensuring the overall health and prosperity of their families, communities and nations.
UN Women’s Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) works with governments and civil society organisations across 14 Pacific Island countries and territories to address this imbalance, empower women and build more inclusive societies.
To do this, the MCO works through four key programmes:
- Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)
- Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG)
- Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific (AGJP)
- Increasing Community Resilience through Empowerment of Women to Address Climate Change and Natural Hazards (IREACH)
News and Updates
From Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, eleven marketplace managers and decision-makers will travel the region this fortnight exchanging ideas to improve marketplaces for women. The first full day of the knowledge sharing and capacity building mission, known as a South-South Exchange, begins today. Five delegates from Vanuatu market management, local government and councils have just arrived in Honiara to meet their Solomon Islands counterparts. Vanuatu market... More
Globally, one out of three women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. This increases to double the global average - two out of three women - in the Pacific. Violence against women is gender inequality at its most extreme. Its repercussions directly undermine the capacity of each and every Pacific Island nation and its people to strive for sustainable development. Gender-based violence comes in many different forms. It includes domestic violence, violence against... More
In one week, on 25 November, UN Women takes a lead role in the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls global movement to 'Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls'. The Samoa field presence for the UN Women Multi-Country Office in Fiji, has made an early start to achieve a key objective for this year's 16 Days campaign by holding a National Inquiry into Family Violence, 'putting a spotlight on the wide... More
Loukinikini Vili is the Director of Human Rights at Samoa's Office of the Ombudsman and also the National Human Rights Institution, which has led the nation's first National Inquiry into Family Violence with support from UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Fiji. For possibly the first time, the Inquiry has brought into the national conversation the issue of family violence which "many see as a cultural norm" even though such acts of violence are... ... More
As the record number of eight women’s teams take to the field for the Oceania Sevens, they are playing to win, and to shift gender inequality to the sideline. “We are currently rated in the top four in the world standings,” said Fijianas Rugby 7s captain Ana Roqica. “Ever since I started playing rugby, the crowd used to tell us that it’s a ‘men’s sport’… now they really... More
“We’re getting impressive results from the investments by Oceania Rugby and World Rugby to grow women’s rugby in the region,” said Oceania Rugby President Richard Sapias. “This is reflected in the increased number of women’s teams participating in the Oceania Sevens, and in recent changes to our strategic planning and partnerships such as with UN Women as we work together towards equality on the field,” said Mr Sapias. To encourage more equal participation of women and girls... More
UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme, Yannick Glemarec, is meeting high-level government officials, partners, donors, and women leaders from market vendor associations and civil society during his official visit to Solomon Islands, from 12 – 14 October 2017. Accompanying Mr. Glemarec is the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office Representative, Aleta Miller. High on the agenda are projects promoting women’s economic empowerment, women’s inclusion in peace... More
This week, the Government of Australia announced increased support to the six-year multi-country project, Markets for Change (dubbed M4C)—a UN Women project principally funded by the Australian Government, and implemented in partnership with UNDP. This innovative project aims to ensure that marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Fifty-one-year-old Janet Ramo is the President of the Auki Market Vendors Association (MVA), in Solomon Islands’ largest market in Malaita Province, which is also a key site for UN Women... More
UN Women and the Australian Government are increasing their commitment to women’s economic empowerment in Solomon Islands, by expanding the Markets for Change project to Gizo, Western Province. Markets for Change (M4C) is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s economic... More
UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme, Yannick Glemarec will visit Australia this week, from 9 – 12 October, and the Solomon Islands, from 12 – 14 October, to step-up progress on women’s empowerment following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While in Australia... More
Shamima Ali is a feminist activist from Fiji. She is the chairperson and one of the founding members of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women. She has been a Coordinator at the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre for the past 31 years. Ms. Ali has also served as a Human Rights Commissioner in Fiji from 2004 to 2006. Her work has included developing and conducting training with police and other service-providers in Fiji and in the Pacific region. Over the years, UN Women has worked in partnership with FWCC on advancing national guidelines for gender-based violence response in Fiji, and supported activities to prevent gender-based violence, including during crises. Ms. Ali recently spoke at an event organized by UN Women at its Headquarters in New York where she talked about what’s driving high levels of violence against women in Fiji and how it can be prevented... More
For the past 35 years Shobhna Verma has made her living selling produce at Suva Market in Fiji’s capital. While her three children are now grown and having their own families, she continues to take on new responsibilities, the latest of which is as a Justice of the Peace. Shobhna is the Legal Adviser with the Suva Market Vendor Association and has attended a series of trainings on financial literacy... More
On 19 August, World Humanitarian Day, UN Women joins other humanitarian actors in recognising the essential work of humanitarians in conflict zones and disasters. For UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office, working in the Pacific region means preparing for and responding to increasingly severe tropical cyclones – as seen with devastating Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston that hit Fiji in February 2016, affecting nearly 40 per cent of Fiji’s... More
Special Issue - Tropical Cyclone Winston | May 2016. In this issue: (*) Collecting the stories of Winston (*) Addressing the needs of women and girls (*) Getting the response right for women (*) Shaping the recovery process (*) Assessment crucial to ongoing activities (*) Preventing and responding to violence... More